Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Yep, held it fine
Response To:
question and comment ()

Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA
As I mentioned in the article, the cross bar was cut from a 16d nail. The trickiest part, as I recall, was cross-drilling the lever cap and getting the hole in the right place; can't now recall exactly how I did that, but the design allowed for some imprecise placement as long as I drilled it straight across the width, not slanted in either axis. I owned a drill press by then; I probably just clamped the lever cap in or against some reliable vertical (relative to the drill press table).

I made the knurled thumbscrew from lamp parts; but, if I hadn't figured out that technique, I'd have used a regular thumbscrew.

For my purposes, it was a much easier approach than a wedge: I could set the cutting iron depth exactly to the hinge leaf thickness and tighten up the lever cap, no fussing/fossicking about with wedging the iron, having it slip slightly due to the wedge pushing it out, tapping, etc. (remember: speed was of the essence on the first project I used this on).

I have insufficient knowledge to know whether this would be better, worse, or no different were I making, say, a smoothing plane for difficult woods. I will note, though, that the physical forces of this lever cap are basically the same as those involved in the lever cap on a Bailey plane.

By the way, we see that glued-up plane construction as an innovation by James Krenov; I don't think he originated it, although I do think the originator's name is lost to history.

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